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Evolutionary Perspectives on the Psychology of Intergroup Relations: Innate Predispositions and Cultural Malleability

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Abstract

We review current evolutionary perspectives on the psychology of intergroup relations. We describe the theoretical framework, which integrates evolutionary and cultural approaches. We review evidence indicating that while humans may be predisposed toward intergroup conflict, this tendency is highly flexible and responsive to environmental and cultural influences. In particular, we describe some of the recent research delineating specific psychological mechanisms underlying intergroup perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. We also discuss why intergroup belligerence may vary across time and places and what sorts of interventions may be beneficial in promoting more positive intergroup relations.

Keywords

  • Cultural psychology
  • Group
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Intergroup psychology
  • Intergroup relations

A chapter to appear in C. Frisby and W. O’Donohue (Eds.), Cultural competence in Applied Psychology: An Evaluation of Current Status and Future Directions (Springer).

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Park, J.H., Hunt, D.F. (2018). Evolutionary Perspectives on the Psychology of Intergroup Relations: Innate Predispositions and Cultural Malleability. In: Frisby, C., O'Donohue, W. (eds) Cultural Competence in Applied Psychology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78997-2_12

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